My own interest in World War II began with an introduction to the Holocaust in sixth grade. In addition, while attending middle school in Hawaii, I was intrigued by the annual ceremony at the Arizona Memorial and began to learn as much as I could about the events of Pearl Harbor. Years later, my interest in the war was furthered by two books, The Bedford Boys and Band of Brothers. Both chronicled the events of D-Day and encouraged me to learn about individuals in the war.
My teaching philosophy is simple in structure, but complex in practice. It is all about the students. I strive to know my students as individuals so that I am better able to support them in their study of American history, and they are more successful as a result. I also focus on knowing my subject thoroughly to create opportunities for each student to actively engage with new information.
Each year, the students in my historical research class participate in an oral history project, interviewing military veterans to understand their perspectives and to honor their contributions in a school-wide assembly in May. In recent years, we have made a particular effort to connect with veterans from World War II since these opportunities are diminishing. It would be a wonderful opportunity to visit the sites where these veterans served and share what I learn with students and colleagues.